Tuesday, 17 June 2014

I'm Back!!

I’m back!!

I managed to get up and at ‘em in time for my 4am (3am UK-time!) taxi to the airport in Wroclaw, from where I had a straightforward flight home. A couple of hours later, plus a nap on the way as I was in danger of nodding off… and I made it back to my in-laws house :)

Poland was great, I found it to be a really pretty and friendly place to visit, I definitely recommend it to people who like to travel :)   I’m sure I will have loads of photos, but I haven’t put them on my computer yet or anything, so they will have to wait, along with more about how my trip went… I’m not quite organised enough to get anything ready for that right now!

So, having spent a week getting up in the morning and then pounding the streets all day, sometimes even carrying my backpack all day if I was checked out of one place and planning to move on to another, today was a day of sitting around in the airport, sitting on the plane, sitting in the car (sleeping in the car! Haha)  Needless to say then, when I arrived back I was a bit of a ball of pent up energy. By the time I’d had some lunch and made a few phone calls etc, I realised that I’d missed my chance to go to the gym. Boo!! I’d been looking forward to that, but having to be all finished and leaving the place by 4.30pm does limit what time I can get started, and today didn’t work out.

I therefore decided to take the brave step of Going For A Run… I say this is a brave step, as I haven’t been running regularly in about a year and a half. So I know how difficult it’s going to be to get started again, and how frustrating that period will be when I am building up fitness and unable to run well at all – when my muscles will be aching, my breathing laboured, and my brain wondering what on earth I’m doing to myself??   I also say it for another reason: I am carrying an injury that still doesn’t seem to want to go away. Before the injury I was running regularly, a 3 mile route felt like a short run to me, 5 miles felt nice, and I had a 7 mile route that I would do pretty regularly. Then I developed this stupid injury, a bit of a hip bursitis / tendonitis (think of when people get Achilles tendonitis, or a tennis elbow or something, and then apply that concept to the hip) and it was soooo painful!! There was one time where I had been into London to see a friend speak at the Royal Geographical Society, and by the time I had caught the train home again the pain was so bad that I could only walk by taking 2 or 3 steps, waiting for the pain to subside, taking 2 or 3 steps… you get the picture!

I was still working at the time, and had access to physio through work. Normally this type of condition would be managed with rest, so I had to begin with 6 weeks of rest. Followed by another 6 weeks. Followed by more weeks, until finally I was able to head for another run – which resulted in the pain coming back and me being back at square 1. Not fun at all. It was during this time that I was doing my cycling, but cycling is a much different beast to running, and my fitness trailed off while my fatness increased. This was not fun either!

I did go running one other time this year, after returning from South America. But then the following week was when my car got hit and I ended up with whiplash (which still hasn’t fully recovered!) so you see why I was nervous about getting back into it again!

But my nervous energy was making me twitchy today, and I had been thinking while I was away about how I would like to get back into shape and fit back into my clothes, so I took the initiative and got into my running gear, and hit the road… I followed footpaths where I could rather than the actual road, as I find that so much more pleasant, and I aimed for the canal that runs nearby. I will have to go back out with my camera tomorrow as I passed a beautiful field of poppies in full bloom that I’d love to share! Once I reached the canal, I was welcomed by the sight of a family of swans with about 7 cygnets, gorgeous!

I ran along the towpath, seeing ducks, moorhens, rabbits on the banks the other side of the canal, goldfinches, sparrows, damsel flies, so much wildlife to see even at a running pace, it was wonderful. I stayed sensible, and ran for chunks, interspersed with walking for chunks. This way I tried to keep my heart rate up for longer while allowing my muscles (and joints – my knees never used to hurt this much I’m sure!) to get breaks. I really didn’t want to induce that hip injury again!

I was out for an hour altogether, walk/jogging for most of it, and then walking back the last 10-15 minutes as I felt a bit of a niggle in my hip.

Here’s hoping that I can get back to fitness, and back to the size and shape I was before this injury!

Taking part in the Paras 10 event a few years ago - a 10 mile race around an endurance route used by the paratroopers. It's not the best framed shot, but it's the only one I have from during the race! (I'm number 2553, and look! I used to have leg muscles!!)

At the end of the run, feeling a bit pale... I raised money for Help for Heroes with this event, hence the novelty cheque.

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